Seattle Seahawks + Guiness Book of World Records = Ridiculous Case of Civic Pride

I am not a pro football fan. True, I’m not quite as bad as some of my island friends who claim not to know what “NFL” stands for, but, in the overall range of not-fan-ness, the only reason I’m not one of those annoying spectators who demand to know “Wait, why’s that guy doing that?” when you take them to a game is that no one’s ever going to take me to a game.

So I should be embarrassed to admit that I’m proud of “my” Seattle Seahawks because they set a world record last month. Well, not them, exactly. Their fans–a.k.a. “The Twelfth Man.” (See, if I were a COMPLETE and TOTAL not-fan, I wouldn’t know what that meant. So maybe there is hope for me, or no hope, depending on how you look at it.) They set a record for NOISE.

Yep, it’s official, folks. 136.6 decibels, breaking the previous record by 1.6  And the previous record holders, the hardy fans of the Galatasaray Soccer Club (that’s in Turkey, in case you were wondering) can suck it try again next year, jolly good luck and all that.

Want to hear what 136.6 decibels sound like?

What’s funny is, hearing this story gave me a rush of civic pride that continues to bubble up anytime anyone mentions the topic. How in the world can this be? Am I such an insecure Northwesterner that world attention of any kind that doesn’t mention “the Battle of Seattle” or the wimpiness of Steve Ballmer automatically pumps me up?

Gotta admit…I was just in New England, and I found myself keeping score: “There’s a Dunkin Donuts. But ha! There’s a Starbucks right across the street. We’re catching ’em! Oops, there’s another Dunkin Donuts…dang.”

Civic pride, anyone? Do you fall victim to it over silly stuff? Or do you save your “I Left My Heart in ________” moments for something more real, like when Boston rallied after the marathon bombing? Or maybe pride is pride and love is love, and it doesn’t even matter why?


Factoid #15

THIS JUST IN! Shocking news for us Northwesterners: The Douglas Fir is not–I repeat NOT–an actual fir tree.

I know. We’ve been living a lie.

For those of you not privileged to live anywhere west of the Cascade Mountains and north of the Bay Area, these trees are EVERYWHERE. Tall, dark and handsome. And everyone calls ’em fir trees (unless we’re like, “oh, look at that eagle in that pine tree–” but that’s a whole other issue).

courtesy Wikipedia

courtesy Wikipedia

Turns out the good ol’ Doug Fir isn’t even in the genus Abies. Nope, it’s a Pseudotsuga. All I can make of that name is that it’s a “kinda-sorta tsuga”–whatever a tsuga is.  The species is menziesii (so says Dr. Wikipedia), named after naturalist Archibald Menzies. Dr. Wiki says he was a “rival” to naturalist David Douglas, so I bet ol’ Archie felt pretty smug when he got that species name. Joke’s on him, though–no one calls ’em Menzie-firs!